In the summertime, College Park is as wonderful for residents to find local, healthy produce and beautiful hand-made gifts and crafts as it is for vendors to sell them. Every week, the town has multiple farmers markets in various locations across town, including the parking lot of the Wells-Linson Complex, Hollywood Shopping Center, Downtown College Park, and UMD Campus.
College Park Farmers Market, previously known as Paint Branch Farmers Market, takes place at 5211 Paint Branch Pkwy. Every Saturday morning from May through October, this market runs from 8:00am to 1:00pm, selling a range of gorgeously fresh produce, including melon, berries, vegetables, and baked goods from family-owned Miller Farms.
Downtown College Park Farmer’s Market, located at 4500 Knox Rd in the City Hall Parking lot, is College Park’s Sunday farmers market, open from 10:00am until 2:00pm between April and November. This market has a wonderful selection of local produce all grown within 150-miles of downtown College Park, for customers who truly like to shop locally. With free parking on Sundays, this is the perfect time for residents to pick up groceries and support local vendors. In addition to fresh produce, local businesses also offer occasional demos, samples, and children’s activities.
Also on Saturdays, taking place on the other side of town is Hollywood Farmers Market. Hollywood Farmers Market runs from 9:00am-1:00pm in the parking lot of Hollywood Shopping Center. This Farmers market features a unique combination of baked goods, pupusas, and handmade gifts such as crochet animals and decorations and beaded jewelry.
Another local eating and shopping opportunity, especially convenient for university students and faculty, is the Farmers Market at Maryland, which takes place at Tawes Plaza on the west side of campus. From 11:00am to around 3:00pm on Wednesdays, this market offers fresh produce, coffee, and hand-made crafts. Some of the students’ favorite vendors are Randalia Beehive, where they can find fresh honey and beeswax products such as soap, lip balms, and candles; Pinkava Coffee Company, a company who donates 10% of its proceeds from high-quality fair-trade, organic coffee to breast cancer research; and Chocolate Moonshine DC’s gourmet fudge. If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to get there on the earlier side, since they tend to pack up closer to 2pm. During the late spring and early fall semesters, this farmers market also features other informational tables, such as one run by the Office of Sustainability’s LEAF Outreach Team, which offers a fun activity or educational game each week to teach fellow students about sustainable behavior.
Other items for sale include seasonal fruits and vegetables, artisan bread and sweets, handmade jewelry, flowers, and ice cream from the Maryland Dairy. This farmers market even features its own food truck called Green Tidings, which is extremely popular among students. The menu changes every two weeks, always offering customers a fresh selection of seasonal options sourced from local farms and vendors. With all of these wonderful opportunities to buy local food, locals have no trouble finding quality food!